Council under fire over delays in putting in library lift

Roz Smith struggles to get a pushchair with her grandaughter Mollie-May Merritt

Roz Smith struggles to get a pushchair with her grandaughter Mollie-May Merritt

First published in News Banbury Cake: Photograph of the Author by , Council Reporter, also covering Oxford city centre. Call me on 01865 425429

LIBRARY users in Oxford have hit out at Oxfordshire County Council for failing to provide better access to the building.

People who visit Headington Library have to walk up steep steps to access it, which makes it difficult for disabled people or those with prams.

The county council has had planning permission to build disabled access for the library in Grade II listed Bury Knowle House since 2009.

But three years later, no work has been carried out.

Gwynneth Pedler, of disability group Oxfordshire Unlimited, said: “Action needs to be taken. Libraries are important community facilities.

“Oxford cannot be considered a completely accessible city when an ordinary thing like a library is inaccessible to the disabled.”

The county council gave itself planning permission to provide wheelchair access to the rear of the building in July 2009.

This would include a lift, a disabled toilet and a new door into the library.

In April the council renewed the planning permission to give itself another three years to carry out the work.

The council admits the building does not meet the requirements of the Disability Discrimination Act.

Related links

Barton and Churchill county councillor Roz Smith struggles to take her grandchildren to the library.

She said: “We have been trying to highlight this fact for a while. It is a beautiful building but with no disabled access.

“At least with my pushchair I can leave it outside. It is worse for the disabled.”

The building has been owned by Oxford City Council since 1930 but the county council rents the library space.

County spokesman Martin Crabtree said it remained committed to providing disabled access.

Comments (8)

Please log in to enable comment sorting

10:07pm Mon 18 Jun 12

Tiger1ily says...

I agree entirely with Roz about this. We have waited years to get a lift, ramp or some sort of disabled access to Bury Knowle Library. Getting planning permission is rather pointless if they don't carry out the work!
It can be done at the back so that the facade is not spoilt.
Since the City Council is getting some money back from those Icelandic banks, surely some of it could be spent on libraries?
http://saveheadingto
nlibrary.blogspot.co
.uk/

I assure the person above that there are many reasons why you might need to take a child in a pushchair up the stairs. I remember when my own children were very small having to leave the pushchair at the bottom and carry the baby up, so that the elder one could choose some books.
Let us all urge the Council to get that lift or whatever they are going to put in, installed.
I agree entirely with Roz about this. We have waited years to get a lift, ramp or some sort of disabled access to Bury Knowle Library. Getting planning permission is rather pointless if they don't carry out the work! It can be done at the back so that the facade is not spoilt. Since the City Council is getting some money back from those Icelandic banks, surely some of it could be spent on libraries? http://saveheadingto nlibrary.blogspot.co .uk/ I assure the person above that there are many reasons why you might need to take a child in a pushchair up the stairs. I remember when my own children were very small having to leave the pushchair at the bottom and carry the baby up, so that the elder one could choose some books. Let us all urge the Council to get that lift or whatever they are going to put in, installed. Tiger1ily
  • Score: -1

10:09pm Mon 18 Jun 12

Tiger1ily says...

NB I said City Council as the Bury Knowle building is the property of the City of Oxford, but both the City and the County Councils are said to be getting money back now from Icelandic banks. That news was in the Oxford Mail in March.
NB I said City Council as the Bury Knowle building is the property of the City of Oxford, but both the City and the County Councils are said to be getting money back now from Icelandic banks. That news was in the Oxford Mail in March. Tiger1ily
  • Score: -1

11:32pm Mon 18 Jun 12

alu355 says...

£200k for disabled access, could buy a lot of books for that
£200k for disabled access, could buy a lot of books for that alu355
  • Score: 2

9:07am Tue 19 Jun 12

A34North says...

Tiger1ily wrote:
I agree entirely with Roz about this. We have waited years to get a lift, ramp or some sort of disabled access to Bury Knowle Library. Getting planning permission is rather pointless if they don't carry out the work!
It can be done at the back so that the facade is not spoilt.
Since the City Council is getting some money back from those Icelandic banks, surely some of it could be spent on libraries?
http://saveheadingto

nlibrary.blogspot.co

.uk/

I assure the person above that there are many reasons why you might need to take a child in a pushchair up the stairs. I remember when my own children were very small having to leave the pushchair at the bottom and carry the baby up, so that the elder one could choose some books.
Let us all urge the Council to get that lift or whatever they are going to put in, installed.
That must have been so difficult carrying your child up those same stairs where other mothers have done it for fifty years plus without complaint.
Amazing how a disability access has changed into pushchair access for the lazy!
[quote][p][bold]Tiger1ily[/bold] wrote: I agree entirely with Roz about this. We have waited years to get a lift, ramp or some sort of disabled access to Bury Knowle Library. Getting planning permission is rather pointless if they don't carry out the work! It can be done at the back so that the facade is not spoilt. Since the City Council is getting some money back from those Icelandic banks, surely some of it could be spent on libraries? http://saveheadingto nlibrary.blogspot.co .uk/ I assure the person above that there are many reasons why you might need to take a child in a pushchair up the stairs. I remember when my own children were very small having to leave the pushchair at the bottom and carry the baby up, so that the elder one could choose some books. Let us all urge the Council to get that lift or whatever they are going to put in, installed.[/p][/quote]That must have been so difficult carrying your child up those same stairs where other mothers have done it for fifty years plus without complaint. Amazing how a disability access has changed into pushchair access for the lazy! A34North
  • Score: 2

10:27am Tue 19 Jun 12

Man on the Green says...

The County Council has a long and shameful record of institutional discrimination against the disabled, as evidenced inter alia by its suppression of on steeet parking places in the Oxford and the county's market towns (where these remain their responsibility). This is a failed administration, and the new Council leader would be well advised to begin a clearing out of the Augean stables, starting at the top. The underperformance of senior management, covered up under Mr Mitchell, is a running sore, demoralising staff and leading to a culture of complacency. It needs to stop.
The County Council has a long and shameful record of institutional discrimination against the disabled, as evidenced inter alia by its suppression of on steeet parking places in the Oxford and the county's market towns (where these remain their responsibility). This is a failed administration, and the new Council leader would be well advised to begin a clearing out of the Augean stables, starting at the top. The underperformance of senior management, covered up under Mr Mitchell, is a running sore, demoralising staff and leading to a culture of complacency. It needs to stop. Man on the Green
  • Score: 0

12:31pm Tue 19 Jun 12

simplicissimus says...

Existing access exists at other libraries on bus routes, such as Old Marston or Temple Cowley or Summertown or Central. In hard times, this outlay really is a luxury and an indulgence.

The priority should be to cut excessive taxation that Council Taxpayers all suffer, already.
Existing access exists at other libraries on bus routes, such as Old Marston or Temple Cowley or Summertown or Central. In hard times, this outlay really is a luxury and an indulgence. The priority should be to cut excessive taxation that Council Taxpayers all suffer, already. simplicissimus
  • Score: 0

12:33pm Tue 19 Jun 12

simplicissimus says...

*Good* access exists...
*Good* access exists... simplicissimus
  • Score: 0

12:35pm Tue 19 Jun 12

Andrew:Oxford says...

Man on the Green wrote:
The County Council has a long and shameful record of institutional discrimination against the disabled, as evidenced inter alia by its suppression of on steeet parking places in the Oxford and the county's market towns (where these remain their responsibility). This is a failed administration, and the new Council leader would be well advised to begin a clearing out of the Augean stables, starting at the top. The underperformance of senior management, covered up under Mr Mitchell, is a running sore, demoralising staff and leading to a culture of complacency. It needs to stop.
If on-street parking was truly suppressed in the city, every street in Oxford would have pavements that were wide enough for a mobile person to walk side-by-side with a wheelchair-bound friend.

There wouldn't be any spaces (for anyone) for parking though.
[quote][p][bold]Man on the Green[/bold] wrote: The County Council has a long and shameful record of institutional discrimination against the disabled, as evidenced inter alia by its suppression of on steeet parking places in the Oxford and the county's market towns (where these remain their responsibility). This is a failed administration, and the new Council leader would be well advised to begin a clearing out of the Augean stables, starting at the top. The underperformance of senior management, covered up under Mr Mitchell, is a running sore, demoralising staff and leading to a culture of complacency. It needs to stop.[/p][/quote]If on-street parking was truly suppressed in the city, every street in Oxford would have pavements that were wide enough for a mobile person to walk side-by-side with a wheelchair-bound friend. There wouldn't be any spaces (for anyone) for parking though. Andrew:Oxford
  • Score: 0

Comments are closed on this article.

Send us your news, pictures and videos

Most read stories

Local Info

Enter your postcode, town or place name

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree